Kirsten Valentine Cadieux

Food System Bean Vote Plinko Game at the Minnesota State Fair

State Fair visitors line up to play the game
State Fair visitors line up to play the game

Valentine demonstrates the game
Valentine demonstrates the game

The game is explained to players by wonderful volunteers
The game is explained to players by wonderful volunteers

The game in context (at the Healthy Local Foods Display)
The game in context (at the Healthy Local Foods Display)

(The game moved around the Fair on some days to other locations...)

Food System Bean Vote Plinko Game at the Minnesota State Fair | Media List


Statement

This interactive food system game plays on the idea of the “corn vote,” a popular form of fair opinion polling, in which participants vote by placing corn kernels in mason jars. The game is built in the form of a Plinko Board with mason jars at bottom representing different components of the food system (healthy eating, vibrant farms, thriving economies, etc.) People are encouraged to vote with (agricultural) tokens for which part they value the most. The tokens (beans) falling through the obstacles on the Plinko board show the web of interconnected processes that are involved in the food system. It also shows that even if you value something specific, your “vote” still falls through the whole thing and affects—and is affected by—the entire system.

Instructions:

Last year, at the Fair, we heard from thousands of people what they thought about food and the way it is produced, handled, and consumed. This year, we’ve turned these ideas into a game -- a combination of a "corn vote" (with beans) and a plinko game.

To play:

First, look at the six jars that represent different categories of things people value about food, and place a dot sticker on the part of the food system you think is most important, or that you’re most interested in.

Second, take a handful of beans from the big jar with the comprehensive food system diagram, and try to drop your beans into the jar you chose (or the jars you think are most important, if you had trouble picking only one jar)!

You can turn the wooden slats using the handles on the back of the game: make a choice about these parts of the food system and see how negotiating different choices makes a difference to all the parts of the food system connected to them!

Then, please take a moment to fill out one of the hang tags and attach it to the tower with the rest, so that we can include your voice and ideas as we continue to develop this game!

Reviews

The pilot version of the game is featured on pp. 12-13 here:
http://www.iceboxstudio.com/2011/docs/CAFS2012_ExplorationGallery.pdf